Physical Activity and Breast Cancer

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Physical Activity and Breast Cancer

Article from March 29, 2014 by Andrew Foehrkolb

Daily Physical Activity Reduces Breast Cancer Risk Regardless of Age

Women who were physically active for an hour a day reduce the risk of contracting breast cancer, regardless of age and body weight. Women with the highest level of physical activity reduced their risk of breast cancer by 12% researchers stated.

Professor Matthew Boniol, Research Director, International Prevention Research Institute in Lyon France reported during a press conference the results of a meta-analysis of 37 studies published between 1987 to 2013, which evaluated over four million women. All of these studies looked at the relationship between physical exercise and breast cancer.

Physical activity is known to have a protective effect in other types of cancer as well as cardiovascular disease. At this time the mechanism for this effect is not clear. Surprisingly, the results are largely independent of body mass index values, suggesting that body weight doesn’t seem to be a controlling issue. Moreover, the age at which physical activity starts doesn’t seem to matter either! The researchers found no links between breast cancer prevention and exercising at an early age. It’s never too late to start exercising and enjoying the many health benefits.

Dr. Hilary Dobson, who is Clinical Lead of the West of Scotland Breast Screening Service and the Lead Clinician of the West of Scotland Cancer Advisory Network (WoSCAN), commented: “These findings are important for all women, irrespective of their age and weight. Whilst the mechanism for the potentially protective effect of physical activity remains unclear, the analysis, which is presented here, provides women with a real impetus to increase their physical activity by even modest increments. This review seems to be telling us that the resultant improvements in breast health can now be added to the other established health benefits of physical activity.”

Drew Foehrkolb MS, NASM CPT/CES


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